Remote Instruction Information for Art & Design Students


The information on this page will be updated to reflect information, options, and best practices to utilize the tools that are available for Remote Instruction for Art Students.

Remote Learning - Campus Resources and Information

The following are Cal Poly provided links and information.


Art Student General Topic FAQs

1.  How do I Get ready to use Zoom for online classes?

Download and install the free Zoom Client for Meetings on your computer to be ready to join Zoom meetings. 

  • Sign in to Zoom with the SSO option, using your Cal Poly credentials (same as the web portal, wifi, etc.)
  • Check your energy, sleep, and screen saver settings to prevent interruption during a Zoom meeting.  Most devices will sleep by default if running on battery after a short period of time, which may cause a network disconnect.

You can also use Zoom on a mobile device.  Download the free Zoom Mobile App for iOS or Android from the corresponding app store.  Keep in mind:

  • A smaller screen (mobile device) is likely less than ideal for viewing
  • Consider the battery use of an unplugged mobile device
  • Use a good wifi network with a strong signal to avoid quality issues and to prevent excessive cellular data usage (especially on a limited data plan)

Test your internet connection, and check your audio and video settings by joining your own test meeting before class begins.

2.  Where can I find information and help for Canvas questions?

How to log in to Canvas.

3.  What can I do to help ensure good quality during Zoom meetings?

There are several components of the internet users have no control over, but we can only control our own end.  Here are things users can do to minimize quality issues and interruptions:

  • If you are on wifi, be sure your device have a strong signal: Move closer to your router/access point
  • Limit bandwidth use at your residence before joining a Zoom meeting: Shut off other bandwidth hogs (video, audio, internet gaming, etc.) and non-essential devices
  • Mute video: Turn off your camera to limit video and use audio only (subject to instructor approval, if the approve of not monitoring or collaborating with students)
  • Use your mobile device as a hotspot:  If landlines are down or clogged, a strong cell signal may be a good alternative.  Some devices/plans require an extra cost to enable hotspot functionality.  NOTE: If you have a limited data cell plan, carefully consider if you can use the hotspot function without going over your data limit.

4.  What software is available for me to use on my personal computer?

Paper documents can be digitized with your mobile device.  Use a good document scanning app to flatten and automatically size.  Document scanning apps:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Annual Subscription: Only $30 per year for the Adobe CC subscription.  Available to all Cal Poly students. Students must purchase through the Cal Poly Kivuto store.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Emergency Use: All Cal Poly students (who don't currently have, nor are planning to buy an annual subscription) can use Adobe CC for free on their personal computer through the end of the Spring quarter.**
  • Microsoft Office 365: Free for all Cal Poly Students to install on their personal computers.
  • Autodesk Software:  Free for educational use.  Create an Autodesk account, and download and install titles.  Maya and Fusion 360 are two of many titles available for free.

** If you are having any issues getting Adobe Creative Cloud for Emergency Use working correctly (if you see any licensing issues, including prompts to purchase, or trial versions of software): Uninstall all previous versions of Adobe Creative Cloud or Creative Suite, and if necessary, download and run the Adobe CC Cleaner Tool.

5.  How can I scan a document to share or upload if I don't have a scanner?

Paper documents can be digitized with your mobile device.  Use a good document scanning app to flatten and automatically size.  Document scanning apps:

  • Adobe Scan App: Free for Adobe CC subscription holders.
  • ScanBot App: A great scanning app; free limited version, paid premium options.

There are many other apps to choose from beyond these two popular choices. Check your mobile device platform store. 

Implement a workflow to keep your scanned docs available (save to OneDrive, home backup drive, etc.)

6.  How can I upload image(s) from my phone to a course folder on OneDrive?

Need to upload a snapshot of your work to a folder on OneDrive at the end of your virtual class?  You can do this with the camera on your phone without having to download an app. Go to the Cal Poly website and login to your portal. Locate the folder that you want to upload your image(s) to (Files > Shared) and upload your file(s) (Upload > Files). Choose Take Photo or Video.

View detailed directions with screenshots on how to scan and upload files to OneDrive with your phone.

7.  How can I send and receive files securely with my Instructors and fellow students?

Files to share can be uploaded to:

  • OneDrive: Part of Office 365; access via web portal or app
  • Canvas (and PolyLearn)
  • Zoom: Optionally available during Zoom meetings
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: available to CC subscribers

OneDrive is the preferred option, as it has the most space (5TB per user) and can be used by all. Instructors can share with students, and students can upload their own files to share with instructors, or collaborate with other students.

8.  What are the size limits for common Cal Poly tools and services for sharing data?

  • Canvas: 512MB
  • OneDrive: 5TB
  • Stream: (Office 365) 1TB

9.  What live collaboration tools are available?

There are several options to pick from:

  • MS Teams: Included in Office365
  • Zoom: Includes chat built-in
  • Slack: Free version, limited history/space

Teams is the most common choice, and is integrated with email, calendaring, and OneDrive storage.

Teams Quick Start Guide.

10.  What resources are available from the Kennedy Library?

Kennedy Library Updates and Resources. Check the Kennedy Library for updates on services during the pandemic as well as available online resources. 

Kanopy. All content is available to Cal Poly users, on and off campus, through spring quarter. There are not longer any restrictions on accessing films.

Ebook Central (ProQuest - Unlimited Access Spring Quarter). Starting next week, the Kennedy Library will have unlimited access to all of Ebook Central's ebooks through mid-June. If you identify books and/or chapters in books, your students can access them all quarter. To obtain ebooks:


Course Reserves. Kennedy Library is unable to provide print reserve materials for spring quarter, nor can items be scanned due to the shelter-in-place order. The library is repurposing its print budget and other funds to expand its capacity to license ebooks for course support. As faculty, you can use the Course Reserves Submission form for:

  • an ebook that you know is already  licensed by Kennedy, to be put on e-reserves for seamless student linking
  • a book you'd like to use, so we can explore if it is available as an ebook for academic library subscriptions
  • a new item (b) please include a note in the special instructions stating that this is an ebook purchase request, so we can try and fast-track our procedures for such items in a timely way
  • a request that any Kanopy film or other Kennedy-licensed streaming video be posted on Course Reserves, making it easier for your students to link to resources.

More information: contact Course Reserves Coordinator Caleb Nichols

11.  What resources are available from the Cal Poly community?

Cal Poly Career Services is available to do virtual class presentations online via Zoom. Pre-recorded class presentations on the topics below are also available:

  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • Discovering Career Possibilities
  • Navigating Job/Internship Search
  • Utilizing LinkedIn/Networking

Career Services will be rolling out modules on related topics in the future.

More information: contact Laura Hunkler.

12.  Where can I store or backup important files to prevent loss of data on my computer?

All important data should be saved in at least two locations to prevent data loss.  Use an external drive locally, or to backup (Consider using Time Machine for automatic backups). 

If you plan to buy storage, consider a solid-state drive like this or this. Solid-state drives have better performance and are much more reliable than traditional hard drives.

For even more redundancy, be sure to utilize OneDrive (free for all students).  Besides the 5TB of space, files are on a cloud server so they are protected and available anywhere on the internet.  Files are also easy to share with others via a download link from OneDrive.

Many other cloud storage options exist, including services like iCloud, DropBox, and Mega.


Studio and Shop Area Tips and Information

1.  Where can I find information to help me safely set up and use a studio area in my home?

Review this document for helpful tips to create and use your own studio area.  Topics include:

  • Setting up your workspace
  • Material Storage
  • Disposal of Materials
  • Oil Painting Safety
  • Preventing Spontaneous Combustion of Oil Soaked Rags
  • Brush Cleaning for Oil Painting

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